Version 9.1 adds the ability to specify background colors or images for dates in the Month view. Images can come from a local drive, network location, or the internet. A full-featured image search capability is provided, which will return available images based on one or more keywords. After selecting an image, it will appear on the date in the Month view, automatically scaling and/or cropping itself to achieve the best fit. Date backgrounds will also be included when printing or when saving the calendar to an HTML webpage.
The Pro and Ultimate versions also provide the ability to link a date background color or image to an event. For recurring events, the background will appear for each occurrence of the event. If the event is rescheduled to a different date, its linked background image will automatically follow. VueMinder even handles the case where multiple events on a single date each have a background. Whichever event is clicked last will have its background shown on the date.
Day Background Menu Command
The Month view's right-click menu has been updated to include a new "Day Background" submenu, which provides options for setting a background color or image on the selected date(s). A command is also provided for clearing any existing backgrounds. These commands are also available on the Edit menu.
Day Background - Color
A solid background color can be specified for a selected date. When multiple dates are selected, the background color will be applied to all the selected dates. To select multiple dates, click an empty area in a date and then drag the mouse to highlight the desired date range. After picking the date(s), right-click and select the "Day Background -> Color" command.
The color can be selected using a color-wheel. Drag the square to the desired hue/saturation on the color wheel, and then use the slider to the right of wheel to adjust the color brightness.
This feature could be used for coloring an entire month, certain weeks of the month, or a single date that has special significance. In the example below, each week in May was colored differently.
Day Background - Picture
Pictures can also be easily inserted into selected dates of the calendar. To insert a picture, select and right-click the desired date(s). From the popup menu, click "Day Background -> Picture". A window will appear allowing selection of the desired picture(s), which can be located on a local hard drive or network folder. The picture will be automatically scaled and/or cropped to fit the date rectangle. As the window or Month view is resized, the date background will automatically adjust for the best appearance. This feature is excellent for family calendars. For example, a person's picture could be added to their birthday. There are hundreds of other uses as well. Be creative and have fun!
Day Background - Search
Images can be searched based on one or more keywords. Search results are provided by Google. To search for images, right-click the desired date and select "Day Background -> Search" from the popup menu. Type in the desired keyword(s) and press the Enter key or click "Go". The window will update to show images that most closely match the specified keyword(s). Click an image to select it and see a larger preview.
There are additional options for filtering the images based on type (clipart, line art, faces, photographs) and color. If you are designing a calendar that needs consistency between image colors or styles, these options will be very useful.
In the example below, images were searched for a number of dates in June.
Clearing Day Backgrounds
To remove previously specified day backgrounds, right-click the date and select "Day Background -> Clear". This will also work for multiple selected dates. All colors and images will be removed.
Link Day Backgrounds to Events (Pro and Ultimate Only)
In the Pro and Ultimate versions, day backgrounds can be linked to events. This is especially useful for events that recur (like birthdays) or events that are frequently rescheduled. The background will appear for each occurrence of the event and moving the event will cause the linked background to move along with it. To link a day background with an event, open the Event Editor and click the Appearance tab. A "Day Background" box will show the current background for the event, or an empty box if there's no background yet.
When clicking the box, a menu will appear with the same commands seen when right-clicking dates in the Month view. The options available in this menu work the same as those described above. The event can have a solid color, local picture, or an image found by searching the web. After selecting a background, it will appear in the Day Background box.
After the event is saved, the image will appear in the Month view. If multiple events occur on the same day and each have a background, the Month view will update to show the background associated with the most recently clicked event. Each event on the date can be clicked to see its background. Event backgrounds also override backgrounds specified via the Month view's right-click menu. When events are filtered using the checkboxes in the Calendar Items area of the main window, their backgrounds will also be filtered. A lot of thought and attention to detail went into designing this feature!
Printing and Saving as Web Pages
Day backgrounds will also appear when printing the Monthly layout or when saving to a web page. The backgrounds will match those currently shown in the Month view, although the backgrounds may be scaled or cropped differently to achieve the best fit. Note, to view web pages containing background images, an HTML5/CSS3 web browser must be used. As long as you're not stuck in the dark ages still using Internet Explorer 6.0 (yuck!), you should already have a compatible web browser.
Sharing and Syncing Day Backgrounds (Pro and Ultimate Only)
When sharing over a local network, day backgrounds associated with events will appear on other computers as long as any images are located in shared folders on the network and not local/private folders. Images added using the search tool will also appear, assuming other computers on the network have internet access.
Event backgrounds are also published to ICS files and synced through Google Calendar, although the backgrounds won't appear on the Google Calendar web page. However, other installations of VueMinder that sync with the same Google Calendar will see the backgrounds if any pictures were added using the web search tool. Note, the pictures are not embedded in the actual calendar data because this would drastically increase the amount of data that needs to be transmitted, increasing the time required to sync.
This new feature is one of the most exciting additions to VueMinder's feature list in a long time. Once you use it, you'll see how revolutionary this capability is. Adding images can literally be accomplished in just 3 clicks, and the search tool adds a bit of fun to the normally dreary task of maintaining a schedule. We hope you'll enjoy this new feature. It has been a blast to design, and we're looking forward to seeing how well it catches on. Please let us know what you think!